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Mums do most chores & childcare in lockdown

(33 Posts)
okycoky17 Wed 27-May-20 09:59:56

This is the title of a report on the BBC website this morning. Here's the link:

I certainly agree with this from my perspective - I've got two DS, one aged 6 and the other 18 months. Whilst my husband continues working very set hours each day, dedicating his focus to one thing (his work) I am working, looking after the kids, thinking about meals, food shopping, tidying, washing. I would say I probably average just under a third of work-time compared to DH.

I think lockdown has shown that when push comes to shove women prioritize children and the home environment and men focus on their jobs. Women also try to focus on work, but in a crisis their priority clearly falls elsewhere. I guess the reasons for this are biological - we're programmed by years of human evolution to respond to our primal instincts.

As my household is all-male (bar me) the feeding process seems to be the most dominant issue. I have to break conference calls to serve lunch, or feed the baby, or sort out dinner. It's not that my DH can't do it so I'm not really sure why women and men seem to fall into these tasks almost by default at a time like this! Good old fashioned nature at play again I guess.

OP’s posts: |
StrawberryJam200 Wed 27-May-20 10:53:24

MN Justine was in a discussion about this on Radio 4's Today Programme this morning. She pointed out that it's more a case of plus ça change .....

dameofdilemma Wed 27-May-20 11:46:56

It’s like a game of chicken and men win every time.

I can only ignore the sad faced child asking when lunch will be as they’re hungry for so long - dp can go for longer. He’s a good, responsible, loving parent. But his guilt threshold is higher.

Useruseruserusee Wed 27-May-20 12:03:24

I think this reflects the reality of what was going on before corona, I’m not surprised at all.

My DH has been doing more than me, but before lockdown he was only working part time to look after the children and I was full time. We are both WFH so he has more available time. When we both worked full time we shared 50/50 and it’s been like that from the very beginning.

My sister moans all the time about having to do it all in lockdown - home schooling, cooking, cleaning whilst still working. But yet she won’t let her DH take any of it as he ‘won’t do it properly’. She’s enabling the situation.

user1635482648 Wed 27-May-20 12:09:30

Good old fashioned nature at play again I guess.

Yeh, nothing to do with socialisation or thousands of years of patriarchal cultural norms. hmm

ky07 Wed 27-May-20 12:56:39

The onky way to change this is to stop letting men get away with doing fuck all....

ky07 Wed 27-May-20 12:59:44

@user1635482648 exactly, the idea that its 'nature' for wonen to be doormats is just.... sad.

Devlesko Wed 27-May-20 13:04:41

Well more fool you for marrying a tosser.
Mine has always done his share and more when it's been needed.
It's nothing to do with biology, we had 3 kids, not just me, because i gave birth.
if you are happy martyring yourself, then fine, but many of us don't.

MrAlyhakinsMassiveYacht Wed 27-May-20 13:05:47


GettingUntrapped Wed 27-May-20 13:09:49

We are socialised to martyr ourselves. Men defined what a woman and mother is thousands of years ago. Virgin Mary anyone? Our role model. Self sacrificing, endless compassion and no needs of her own.

JaggedHedge Wed 27-May-20 13:10:47

Nature at play confused

Why aren't you splitting everything 50/50?

PicsInRed Wed 27-May-20 13:11:11

It’s like a game of chicken and men win every time.


What are we going to do, let the children starve and the house become filthy? Play that game of children to the edge and it would be social services calling the "winner".

Lucywilde Wed 27-May-20 13:12:23

I’ve found this. Even more than usual. Husband shuts himself in the office very much working 9-6 ish. Appears briefly to eat. May look at one of the kids home schooling stuff if I’ve started them off. I’m working part time and juggling. Three primary aged kids and two have complex Sen. It’s exhausting. If I ask for help, he asks what he’s expected to do as he’s got loads of work on.

Scottishgirl85 Wed 27-May-20 13:12:33

I think it comes down to choice of husband! We share housework and childcare 50/50. Both working full-time from home, 2 and 5 year olds so includes home-schooling too. Why do you put up with your situation? Have you discussed it?

DownWhichOfLate Wed 27-May-20 13:16:53

I’m not sure it’s just choice of husband. I think employers expect men to not need to do childcare.

Devlesko Wed 27-May-20 13:19:50

It's like feminism doesn't exist on here sometime.
I've had long spells of being a sahm and it didn't fall to me all the time, then.
My dh and kids all do their bit/fair share, wtf would I do it all, I'm not a skivvy.
Have none of you any self esteem.

PrimeroseHillAnnie Wed 27-May-20 13:21:15

Not in my house. I'm working full time , including nights and weekends. Husband is taking on domestic duties. He cleaned the cooker by taking it apart and soaked the icky bits in caustic soda. Likewise with fridge freezer, all shelves and drawers out. The vacuum cleaner is regularly punished and one of the radiators was a tad loose so that come off and had to be repainted. He's cleaned the girls rooms top to bottom - they've moved out but they are still their rooms !. But only into my sons room to retrieve all the crockery and cutlery I thought we'd broken or lost .. what do boys do in their rooms, errr not sure I want to know. Food is always ready for me and the garden is looking fab. But he does get rewarded grin

MonkeyToesOfDoom Wed 27-May-20 13:22:29


The onky way to change this is to stop letting men get away with doing fuck all....


It's not women's fault some men do fuck all, but they do choose to stay. I couldn't be with someone that it wasn't even and fair.

Asuitablecat Wed 27-May-20 13:22:58

Not too bad in.the ho u see, although the kids gravitate more to me cos.I'm less likely to ignore them 4or 5 times before finally responding.

For me, it's more about childcare. I'm wfh. Dh is partially. I'm waiting to get the back to work call. Guess who's worrying about childcare and how I'm going to manage? I earn slightly more too.

elizabethdraper Wed 27-May-20 13:24:40

Definitely 50/50 since we are lockdown.
Previously it would have been 70/30 duevtobwo

Bumpitybumper Wed 27-May-20 13:33:34

I think it's a mix of socialisation and biology.

Society thinks that the buck stops ultimately with the mother. If a child is being neglected and not having their needs met then people are programmed to blame the mother more than the father for not protecting the children.

Biology does of course play a part too and females are the primary carers for most animals. I do think most (not all) women are more sensitive to their child's happiness and are more likely to sacrifice things if they think it will benefit their child.

Pertella Wed 27-May-20 13:34:12

I've had to take a tougher stance with my DH now. Whenever he asks me what he should be doing, what shall I give the kids to eat, and so on, I tell him hes a big boy now and can work it out for himself.

KellyHall Wed 27-May-20 13:37:23

This is not the case in my house.

DH is furloughed, I'm a key worker and my workload has gone through the roof. I'd previously worked just a few hours a week whilst DH was full time so we've totally switched roles.

I think we're doing surprisingly well adapting to what the other has been doing for years but we're looking forward to going back to "normal" too!

KellyHall Wed 27-May-20 13:38:41

Early in to lockdown I made a timetable of activities for dd and household chores so dh doesn't feel I'm having to tell him on a daily basis what needs doing.

Alexsay Wed 27-May-20 13:41:22

Agree that it's choice of husband. I wouldn't be with someone who didn't pull their weight.

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